I received a text from a friend one morning this past week. In it, she told me she had spent some time praying for me that very morning. And she told me specifically what her prayer was. Here’s what she texted: “Praying for you this morning…that the word of God would dwell in you richly, that you would be filled to the measure of God and for complete surrender into Jesus’ loving arms.”
Wow! That’s no measly little prayer. It was just what I needed to hear that morning as I had just gotten done with an emotional prayer time myself right before that.
I have always been moved when people mention that they are praying for me…and are sincere. It’s actually a phrase we throw around pretty flippantly just like saying, “I’ll be thinking about you when you have your surgery tomorrow.” Christians are guilty of tossing the “I’ll be praying for you” line out there because it sounds spiritual. And isn’t that what we’re “supposed” to be? Spiritual?
Honestly, I really appreciate the faithful friends and family in my life that say it, mean it, and actually do it. For me it’s a figurative modeling of a story of in the New Testament.
Four guys came carrying their paralytic friend on a mat and tried to take him into the house where Jesus was teaching in order to lay him at Jesus’ feet. But the house was packed. When they couldn’t find a way in through the front door, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles and into the middle of the crowd right in front of Jesus. Crazy, right?
You see these four friends had apparently heard about Jesus. And they were desperate to get His attention somehow, some way. If you picture the scene, this was no small undertaking. They must have cared tremendously about this guy. No obstacle stood in their way. They must have loved him dearly. They knew there was nothing they could do to help their paralyzed friend, but maybe…just maybe…Jesus could.
So they carried him. With every bit of love and hopelessness they had in them. They carried him to the feet of Jesus.
When we pray for each other, this is what we do. We recognize we don’t have the tools, power, or ability to make things better. But we know the God who does.
Here’s the thing. When you pray for people it says more than “I care.” It says, “I care enough to carry you to the feet of Jesus.”
The next time you offer to pray for someone, say it, mean it, and do it. Commit to it like the four guys committed to their paralyzed friend. Imagine carrying your friend, whomever you’re praying for—with all their problems and issues loaded up on a mat—straight to the feet of Jesus.
We can’t be the solution to their problems, but we can carry them to the One who can.
Spend some time this week carrying those you love to the feet of Jesus.